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How it works:

This page will guide you through the process of applying for your J1 visa to the USA. Please take the time to read through it carefully - and bookmark it so you can refer back to it during the application process!

Get started on your application

Try to get your application in as early as possible!

Once you have successfully submitted your application for a J1 Visa Programme the process of gaining the legal sponsorship begins.
There are various stages to this - each is extremely important. Please note that at all times we must adhere to US government regulations governing the programme.

Please make sure you read all the information on this page to avoid delays and confusion during the application process.





Please make sure you watch the instructions video!

This will guide you through the process. You should refer back to this page when completing your online application.

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What Happens Next?

Once you've registered on this page, our team will set you up in the system with a CIEE Beacon Account. You'll receive a welcome email from donotreply@ciee.org with your log in details!
Please make sure you refer back to this page throughout the application process as there are no instructions on the actual application!

Supporting Documents you will need to upload to your online Beacon Account

As well as completing the online application, you will also need to upload some supporting documents - including Proof of Univeristy Status, Passport ID page.

Those with a Download link should be downloaded from this page before you start your application

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Supporting Documents for Internship USA

*This can be completed, signed and stamped by any member of staff at your university

We will not be able to accept your application or start the process for you without these documents
Important Info - please read!

Once you have completed these you will need to upload them to the relevant parts of your online account
*You will need to upload the Fees Disclosure to the DOCUMENTS section at the bottom of our account page

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Inviting your US Supervisor to complete your online training plan

Once you have logged into your online account you will see a blue button marked Training Plan.

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This will take you to your online training plan.
Scroll Down to the Section marked MAIN SUPERVISOR/ POC and click the blue INVITE button.

Enter your Supervisor details and hit the SEND INVITATION button.

You can then return to your part of the application!


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Adding your Profile Picture to your Application

To do this, please click on the grey profile picture box at the top of your BEACON application - you will then be able to upload a suitable picture.

*Please make sure this image is less than 1mb in size

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Completing your Application

Once you've invited your US Host Company Supervisor and added a profile picture to your account, you should start completing the application. We know this can seem daunting, so we've put together a step by step guide to help you!

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Signing your Online Training Plan (DS7002 Form)

Once your online training plan has been completed and signed by your US Host Company, you will receive an email from the system notifying you.
BEFORE you sign, you must make sure you enter the PROGRAM DATES.
This will be the earliest date you want to be covered by insurance to enter the USA and the last date you wish to be in the US.
*Please note: You can only apply to arrive up to 30 days prior to your official Intern start date - and you may only remain in the US up to a maximum 30 days After your internship end date

You must make sure these are entered into your online training plan before you sign! Without these dates we are unable to review or start the process for you.
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Your PROGRAM END DATE MUST BE AFTER YOUR TRAINING END DATE or we will not be able to submit your application.
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*It's very important you choose the total dates you want to be in the USA . Once you have been approved and legal documents printed and shipped from the US, there will be a charge of at least £50 + any additional month charge for any changes.

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Make Sure you Sign YOUR part of the Application!

When your online training plan has been completed and signed by both your host Company and you, you should make sure your application is complete (including those all important supporting documents!).
Then please sign this part as well. You'll need to email our team at apply@istplus.com to let us know you're happy to move ahead before we start the review process!

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Going to 2 Host Companies?

If you are planning on undertaking an internship at more than one Host Company during your time in the US there is a slightly different process for your application.

Your 1st Host Company will need to complete the online DS-7002 - you will need to invite them to do this via your online account.
Your Second Host Company will need to complete and sign off on a PDF version of the DS-7002 - you can download this below
Once they have completed and signed this they must send to you so you can complete all relevant sections.
You must then also sign this form!
You'll need to upload this to the "Documents" section of your online application

Please note: For split internships please leave the Program End date on your online Training Plan BLANK. You will need to tell us this date when you have uploaded the PDF Training Plan for your second host by emailing apply@istplus.com

It is VITAL you email our team at apply@istplus.com to let us know when you have uploaded your 2nd Training Plan. Until you do we will not be able to review your application.

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Once your application is complete

Your application is complete when both your part of the application and the online training plan have been completed and signed.

• The Online training plan must be completed and signed by both your US Host Company Supervisor and you
• Your part of the application must have all sections completed including uploaded Supporting Documents to the Documents section at the bottom of the application page

It is vital once you are ready for the process to move forward that you email apply@istplus.com to confirm.

We will then be able to review your application and move forward with the process.
At this time we will request programme fees - see here for details

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The Process

Once you have emailed our team to confirm you are ready to move forward with the application, we will email you a payment request.
Once this payment has been made, we will be able to submit your completed application to our colleagues in the USA for processing.
Below is an outline of the process - each application is assessed individually however, so timelines and processes vary


We strongly recommend allowing a minimum 6 weeks for this - more in the busy periods of the year!

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Instructions and Guides
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Delays to Embassy Interviews

Latest Update 22nd Oct 2021

As a result of US embassy closures worldwide and US Travel bans during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are expected to be significant delays and backlogs in getting embassy interviews. As such please make sure you get your application in as early as possible, and allow as much time as you can for this process. See here for the latest FAQs and updates on the US Embassy website in the UK.

  • For interviews in all other embassies, please refer to your local embassy guidance.

We will update this section regularly to reflect the current situation.

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1: Application Complete

Once both parts of your application are complete (your part and your online training plan), please email our team at apply@istplus.com to confirm.
We will then review your application and let you know if anything needs to be revised/ is missing.
*Please make sure you have uploaded all relevant Supporting Docs from the section on this page!

2: Payment Request

Our team will email you a Payment Request. Once we have confirmation this has been paid, we will submit your application to our colleagues in the USA for the process to start

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3: CIEE Review

Your application will show as UNDER REVIEW. CIEE will work with your Host Company to approve your application. You must check your email regularly during this process as this will be how we contact you should we require further information. In some cases, CIEE may ask your Host Company to revise your training plan to being it into line with US Government requirements.

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4: Approval

Once approval has been granted (this may take up to 4 weeks), your status on your application will change to ACCEPTED. Within 24-48 hours of this you will be able to see your SEVIS ID at the top of your online account page. THIS IS SHOWN AS YOUR DS-2019 NUMBER.
Within 3-5 working days of this, your legal paperwork will be sent to our offices in the United Kingdom and we will send these out to you. Using your SEVIS ID (DS-2019#) you can complete the DS-160 form - see our US Embassy Interviews button below

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5: Receive your Paperwork/ Book your Interview

Once you have recieved your legal paperwork from us (this normally takes place 5 -7 days after approval has been given in the USA) you will be able to go online and start the process of booking your visa interview

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6: Attend your Visa Interview

At your face to face interview at your local Embassy or Consulate, you will be required to answer some questions about your trining plan, your plans for when you return home and other details.
You will also be required to provide biometric data (fingerprints).

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7: After the Interview

When your passport and visa are returned to you by the US Embassy, you are free to book your flights and travel to the US on or after the date listed as Program Start Date on your Documents and online Training Plan

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8: 72 Hours before Departure

You will be required to show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of departure for the USA.
You will need to show this AND proof that you are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to board your flight

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9: Arriving in the USA

You will need to register in SEVIS (see below on this page) and also provide contact tracing information to immigration authorities upon entry to the United States